Autoimmune and Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorders

Raffaele Iorio, Orna O'Toole, Sean J Pittock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Autoimmune neurology is a rapidly emerging subspecialty that encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders with an autoimmune (paraneoplastic or non-cancer associated) basis. There has been a dramatic rise in discoveries of neural-specific autoantibodies and their target antigens. Laboratory testing is now available for most of these neural-specific autoantibodies, which serve as diagnostic markers directing the physician towards specific cancer types and assisting in therapeutic decision making. Autoimmune neurology intersects with many traditional neurological subspecialties including cognitive behavioral neurology, movement disorders, epilepsy, neuro-oncology, neuromuscular disorders, autonomic neurology, and demyelinating disorders. Antibodies targeting intracellular proteins (nuclear and intracytoplasmic enzymes, transcription factors, RNA binding proteins) serve as markers of neural peptide-specific cytotoxic effector T-cell mediated injury and are generally poorly responsive to immunotherapy. In contrast, antibodies targeting plasma membrane proteins (neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, water channels, channel complex proteins) may act as pathogenic effectors and imply immunotherapy responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of Brain Disorders: Biological Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9780123982803, 9780123982704
StatePublished - Dec 3 2014


  • Antigen
  • Aquaporin
  • Autoantibody
  • Autoimmune
  • Cancer
  • Encephalitis
  • Immunotherapy
  • NMDA
  • Paraneoplastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Autoimmune and Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this